Which (online) cloud is the best for your (digital) harvest?
As we are often saying – and will, no doubt say again and again – the choice of digital-related goods and services of whatever type is currently all but endless. You can virtually lose yourself in various smartphones, notebooks, connection providers, and so on, and so forth. And, thankfully, it also goes for something extremely important in our times when malware and glitches threaten us at every corner – the backup storage products allowing you to keep (and access whenever you want) your precious data online, known as cloud storage. These days, you can be much pickier about the conditions and prices coming with those than you could not so long ago.
But the rule of “the richer the choice, the harder the choosing” is as applicable there as it is in all of the above cases. So here are some tips about which of this multitude of virtual repositories for your photos, videos, texts and other much-valued files are more preferable than others.
Let’s start from one which offers the most at the cheapest price. With the iDrive, you won’t have to pay anything at all as long as you keep within the 5GB limit, and for a little more than $50, you’ll get 5 terabytes – yes, you have read that right – of space at whichever devices you need, no matter the amount of those devices, no matter the type of information you store (business-related and personal alike) and no matter the platform, Windows or Mac, desktop, phone or tablet. And you can get to your data through any interface, too, whether you prefer browsers, apps or clients. Plus, there’s something to be said for the flexibility of controls and options iDrive gives you in the process: you can select pretty much any parameter of your storage. iDrive’s customers are in charge of their backups’ frequency, of the level of protection (private encryption is available for any of the stored files) and of the speed of data handling as well, thanks to the physical drives (with or without your data, depending on preferences) that you’ll get from the company as part of the service. Yes, they go that extra mile beyond the online realm for their clientele.
But the best doesn’t mean the only, and we fully appreciate the fact that one man’s perfection is another man’s “too much”. So, just in case iDriver , by any reason, is not exactly to your liking, there are quite a few more good offers out there.
And one example is rather well-known already: it’s Dropbox whose fame is, in our opinion, well-earned. Granted, 2GB of free space is not the largest on offer, but you’ll be rewarded like nowhere else – getting as much as 32 free gigabytes – for referring Dropbox to new customers who would subscribe to Dropbox’s Professional or Plus version. The latter, by the way, is notably cheaper than iDriver’s paid version: for $10 (if you pay yearly) or $12 (for monthly payers) per month you’ll get the same amount of space that iDriver will give you for over $50. Besides, this service is right up the alley of those who might find the aforementioned plethora of iDriver’s options a bit intimidating and confusing: Dropbox is nothing if not straightforward to use even for those who, shall we say, are not even nearly tech-minded. Plus (no pun intended), it combines your pictures in galleries, and that’s only one of its many convenient sharing features: you can give your friends or colleagues a link to any document you want them to have.
The next big gun could hardly slip your attention: we won’t insult your intelligence by presuming you might not know what Google Drive is. But so fast has it improved since its already not-too-shabby start, some of you might have actually missed how much free space you’ll get with it: so far, there is no competitor who can touch their record-breaking 15GB. As far as prices go, it’s on par with the above-mentioned Dropbox, charging $10 for 2TB, but the choice is even wider here, spanning from $2 per month for 100GB to $150 per month for mind-boggling 30TB. And for the Google crowd, it’s at least as easy to use as Dropbox, too: you are in whenever you sign into your Google account, and then you can play with your files, placing them on this virtual disk, the same way as you do on your desktop. On top of that, for paying subscribers there is additional support in the form of Google One. As far as sharing goes, Google Drive is on par with DropBox as well, due to the Google environment including mail that lets you quickly give others access to your files even without password, if you want to. And all of the above goes both for desktops and smartphones. So the only reason not to consider this road is being really averse to all things Google.
In which case it’s very likely that you’ll want to look at Apple’s iCloud: 5 free gigabytes isn’t too bad, and there is also some room for manoeuvre in terms of subscription: the cheapest – for 50GB – will only cost you a buck monthly, and, just like in cases of DropBox and Google, it’s $10 for 2TB. Just remember to check how much space you have left, for, unlike with other services, your devices will store everything you do on iCloud without asking you. On the other hand, your iTunes downloads won’t take anything up. Also, if any storage service can outdo GoogleDrive on ease of use of everything, including sharing (hello, media-sharing hub), iCloud can. And that’s not mentioning how beautiful it looks, but that goes without saying: it’s Apple we’re talking about, after all).
Now, Microsoft, of course, wouldn’t be left off that race. While going head-to-head with Apple in terms of free space (yes, those same 5GB), its OneDrive also gives further 1TB to their Office 365 DTP subscribers, covers virtually any platform there is, including Apple’s, too, plus allows their clients to access their files – even non-uploaded ones – remotely through their site and send their pictures straight to many, many social networks, from Facebook to Twitter. Also, you won’t have to pay a dime for their Office Web Apps. And that pushes the envelope on sharing even further than any OneDrive’s mighty rivals have managed so far, because it goes beyond just sending links: your working partners will be able to open and change any Office document, and you can change them back at any point.
However, if you don’t want your storage to be tied to any of those tech giants with their specific requirements, it’s a good idea to look at the Box. This is one service for privacy-minded among us: though it is compatible with both Windows and Apple devices (down to the tablets), you won’t have to give any of your information to either of them (or to Google, for that matter). And it doesn’t cut on free space, at that, offering their customers twice as much as Microsoft or Apple do (and that does include sharing). It surpasses the latter on paid subscription as well (but, admittedly, falls well behind Google and DropBox): $10 a month will buy you 100GB. Business subscription is, of course, much richer, in terms of space and options alike, but then, you’ll have to be notably richer to get it, too. Still, for those who consider privacy and independence priceless, there’s enough to appreciate even in more affordable Box versions.
And that rounds up our – hopefully, helpful – cloud guide for the year so far.
- Best cloud storage services 2021: Expert picks & pricing – ZDNet
- Sell Your Device Online – iGotOffer
Best Cloud Storage 2021 – Comparing Price, Security, Lifetime Plans and Collaboration [Video]
Video uploaded by cloudwards on January 27, 2021